Business ethics determine the relationship the business is to build with other businesses and the external world at large. It also determines the level of profitability by setting standards and expected commitment to employees and management as a whole. A managing director and a human resource manger are among individuals who determine the observance of the ethical values. They do this by enforcing them directly or practicing them to show an example to others.
The Human Resource Manager
The human resource department handles all issues dealing with recruitment, hiring, and even dismissing of employees from the respective business. The department further deals with promotions and training of the employees in their respective regions of operations. The activities dealt with in this particular department are sensitive and call for individuals with high moral and ethical standards to manage it. The activities like hiring, promotion, and selection of beneficiaries of trainings and conferences are sensitive and can lead to conflicts if mishandled. The department can be termed as one with the highest contact with the employees. The employees, on the other hand, act as the business ambassadors to the outside world and go ahead to market the business to the outside world (Muller, 2009). The failure by the human resource manager and the entire team to exercise fairness which counts as part of ethics can, thus, be sensitive or even fatal to the business. The human resource manager in this case can act as the maker or breaker of the business reputation depending on how he/she handles the issues.
The human resource manager is supposed to show high levels of ethics by doing away with such factors as discrimination of any kind, any form of harassment, be it gender or sexual based, and should treat all people equally. It is advisable that the human resource manager take a neutral position when dealing with employees at all levels. This gives the employees the impression that the organization is an equal opportunity employer and that all employees have equal opportunities of development, both socially and in career.
The human resource manager has also the moral responsibility of ensuring that private facts about individuals, which may range from such factors like sexuality, health among others, are kept in confidence and private in respect to the individuals’ will. This shows that the manager respects the dignity of the employees and is committed to upholding the same. Failure to do this may lead to legal suits against the organization, which automatically tarnish the image of the organization as well as incur losses to the business.
Compensation issues are among the factors that often arise in any industry or business. The factors leading to the demand for compensation are analyzed and forwarded by the HR department to the responsible department. The way the Human Resource manager and his team handle and manage the case forms part of the department's function. The ethical consideration in such a case is high, and failure to be comprehensive compromises the whole department and its functions. The human resource manager is expected to protect some of the most vital interests of both the business and employees (Fitz-Enz & Davison, 2002). The areas show whether the HR takes responsibilities. Since this job is diverse in nature, it is easily noted when there is a failure or laxity.
The Managing Director
A managing director is the head of all departments as all departmental heads report to him/her on the daily activities of the business. He/she is also in control of all activities of the business and is answerable to the board of governors or the chief executive officer of the company. The managing director controls the budget and the external association of the business with the external world. Since the managing director is the head of the company, different individuals and cooperators with interest in the business look up to him/her for information on the business. The director is expected to be an individual of high moral standards and ethical understanding of business operations. He/she should also understand the laws of the market and the legal requirements of the business to evade any conflict with the law and legislative acts (Gennard & Judge, 2005).
A sturdy managing director is noted from different aspects including his/her level of financial reliability, personal relationship and the nature and level of communication. A manager with sturdy ethics is able to run and manage the team appropriately with minimum instances of conflicts and misunderstanding. An excellent manager is one who is open to employees and is always ready to listen to the opinions of other people, including his /her juniors. An excellent manager is also reliable for both the business owners and investors. Such managers always work towards enhancing the business image.
Hiring of Employees
The human resource manager and his department are responsible for hiring of employees and managing them. They are further expected to orient new employees into the business and update them of the company’s ethics, protocols, and communication channels. The whole process is likely to be compromised by instances of corruption, favoritism, and unfairness. This may be extended when it comes to rewarding and promoting the members of the staff. It is, thus, upon the human resource manager in his capacity as the member of this department to ensure that the process is fairly done and is not questionable (LeGault, 2002). Instances of favoritism can be eliminated by ensuring that the business is an equal employer and that it gives equal opportunity to all. This can be done by ensuring that only the best get the opportunity or recognition. In some instances, HR managers may favor individuals based on social status, race or even gender. This undermines the integrity of the business and shows lack of ethics within this department. This may go far to undermine the performance of the business as it may lead to hiring of under qualified personnel in the business. It is, thus, the responsibility of the HR manager to ensure that the business acquires the right and skilled personnel to handle its operations. This will also ensure that the business competes well in the market.
Equality is one of ethics that test the HR manager compatibility with the organization and its policies. This comes in the form of balancing all people irrespective of their business. This may be connected to the hiring process as well as to the general management of the department. A talented HR manager will ensure that all people in the business are not judged according to their race, age or even gender, but according to their performance. The HR manager is there to ensure that the management treats all people equally and distributes privileges and responsibilities equally. This includes being gender sensitive, promoting individuals’ talents equally, and giving significant attention to people with disabilities.
The HR should also try to balance people of different races and gender during the hiring process to make the business or organization socially acceptable. This will also help boost intercultural integration among the employees. The equality should further be demonstrated during offering of training sessions and promotions. This would go help in conflict resolution and crisis management in the organization. Failure to do this may lead to the business losing performing employees due to their feeling that they are not appropriately recognized and their effort is not rewarded (Aswathappa & Dash, 2007). It may also lead to failure in business as many mistakes and wrongs may go unnoticed as the HR manager concentrates on entertaining the favorite employees. The situation may also lead to conflict between employees as they all try to seek the individual attention.
The issue of compensation will always arise due to different factors affecting the employees in the business environment. This may arise due to breach of contract, injuries or even accidents, and abuse at the business premises. The cases in this category are usually handled by the HR department. In this case, the department evaluates the case and weighs all the possibilities on all sides. In this particular case, the HR department and its management is observed both in and outside the business by all the interested parties. The ethics of the HR manager are displayed by how he/she presents the case. A good and ethical HR manager should by no means try to protect the business neither the complainant, but he/she should rather apply justice to both sides. The external world will judge the business by such actions. Offering of justice makes the consumers feel that the business is worth trade with, while denying the same would make the public avoid the company and its products. Internal conflicts should be resolved with equal intensity to assure the employees that the company cares about them. This boosts their morale by making them feel secure (Einarsen & Hoel, 2010). Contrary to that, if employees feel that they are misused and not valued by the business, it may lead to an industrial action or mass resignation. This would cause a crisis within the business. The observation of relation ethics in this case would help the business evade such occurrences.
Communication from the HR department should be effective and timely. The HR manager is responsible for communicating all matters relating to the business to the employees. The information should be relayed with the intensity it deserves and within the intended time. Confidential information should be treated as such and relayed in a manner that will not erode the dignity or respect of any individual. In this case, the HR manager is not entitled to censor any information that is intended to any employee. In case the company policy does not allow the employees to use company facilities to communicate with external interests, then the HR should relay this to the employees in advance to avoid conflict of interests.
The HR should also verify ways of communication between the employees and individual departments. The HR manager should, therefore, avoid any instances where he/she is involved with bleach of any communication, be it between the management and employees or between the employees themselves. This may lead to a serious conflict between the group and portray him as one without ethics.
Cases of employees being harassed by fellow employees or management are common. The type of harassment includes physical assault or even sexual harassment. Any HR manager who portrays such behavior or fails to control the same is viewed as one who lacks ethics, and his/her management system and style are questioned. In case this happens and the HR manager fails to take action or is involved, the business becomes susceptible to fail or ruin publicity. An ethical HR manger controls this by all means and at all times (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2008).
The Managing Director
The managing director is in charge of all the financial aspects of any business. He/she plans and makes arrangements for the financial obligation of the business. He/she needs to be honest to the business owners, the government, employees, and investors. An ethical manager does not see the position as an opportunity to enrich him/herself but as an opportunity to drive the business to make an impact in the market. The managing director should have clear records of business expenditure, revenue, salary enumeration, and disbursement to the employees. He/she should also give accurate information to the potential investors who have an interest in the business. The manager should also ensure that all the resources belonging to the business are used accordingly and could be easily accessed for the purpose of the business. Unethical manager will always be tempted to alter the business records to favor him/her and his/her demands (James, 2006). This may lead to investors and business owners getting the wrong impression about the business. It may also lead to a loss as possibilities of misusing the funds are high.
Time is one of the most essential factors of a business entity. The management has the responsibility of ensuring that time, like all the other resources, is well utilized. This can be done by establishing strong rules that ensure time maximization. It can also be done by practicing it among the members of the management. A skilled manager who understands ethics limits the time he/she spends on the phone conducting personal business, the time he/she arrives at work, and the time he/she leaves. The ethics dictate that the manager should be strict on the diary and always make appointments. Managers who make void appointments with clients and employees display the firm in a negative light, and they can never be trusted. This should be extended to meeting deadlines of clients’ demands and paying of the salaries to the employees (Brown, 1999). Other instances where time efficiency counts are: when one is making payments to suppliers or consultants and when remitting taxes. An unethical manager who fails to observe these finds himself in conflict with different parties.
Relations between a manager of a business and other members of the staff should be smooth and efficient to ensure that the business operations are run accordingly. The relations depend on the attitude between the relating parties. It is, thus, upon the manager to portray a positive attitude towards the junior employees and show them an accommodative spirit to allow them to have the courage of approaching the management. This can be displayed by the type of language he/she uses when addressing the members of the staff, including the general body posture and gestures that are used during the conservation (Oade, 2010). An ethical manager is the one who takes time to listen to his/her members of the staff and who also takes into account their dignity and confidence. Employees always find it hard to communicate and associate with rude and arrogant managers. They usually avoid such type of managers or business as a whole. It deeply affects communication and conflict resolution within the business. They also fail to impress the consumers giving the competitors a clear way. This usually affects business, leading to mass walkout by the employees or lowered general morale.
Communication within a business is vital in making the business a success. Poor communication channels result in massive losses, wasted time or even failed business. The manager needs to communicate to employees the company policies and requirements. The employees also need to be informed of the new trends in the markets and upcoming events within the company. Effective communication makes these events a success, while poor communication can lead to a miserable failure. The personal communication also needs to be swift and should make an impact. Ethical managers always try to use the set channels of communication effectively when conveying information to the junior staff. The channels used should be effective, affordable, and within reach of all members of staff. This may include use of the notice board, internal memo, and other forms of organizational communication. They also keep records of the communication. This helps the staff to prepare in advance or make the necessary and required changes. Unethical managers ignore all the procedures of communication and go ahead to use crude and ineffective means of communication. At times, they will use the word of mouth or share whatever information they have with a group of people in the organization. This brings about a conflict as not everyone is likely to get the right information (Carroll, 1996).
In conclusion, it would be right to say that ethics are judged more by the personal character of an individual. The character of a human resource manager or even a general manager will tell one whether they are ethical or not. The character of either affects the business adversely and is more likely to bring development or failure in the business. It is necessary that every member of the management team understands the importance of application of ethics at all times. In normal circumstances, it may not be possible to note the level of ethics of the business management. However, this is deeply reflected in the general performance of the business: a business with the ethical management is a success, while the unethical management brings the business to its knees. It is also a fact that the consumers feel as part of the business if they like and enjoy a good image of the producing company or business.